A NEW town or village could be built in north Essex to try and tackle the region’s desperate housing shortage.

Colchester Council has officially invited builders to say where they want to build major new housing developments, particularly so-called “garden cities”.

Previously heralded sites include land east of Greenstead, where 4,000 homes have been mooted, and West Tey, a proposed new 7,500 home village west of Marks Tey.

However, potential developers could offer to build homes on any land.

A “garden city” is defined as a new settlement with several thousand homes coupled with the jobs and community facilities needed to make it a “sustainable” community.

A survey published in June found there is demand for between 1,065 and 1,225 new houses and flats in Colchester every year.

The borough’s population is growing faster than its neighbours in Essex and is expected to hit 200,000 in 2021.

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